In our fast growing technical age people are no longer visiting the Internet; they are living on the Internet. The Internet has become such a known place that its use has become mundane, with users seeking out answers to impulsive burning questions one minute, and simple everyday how-to videos the next. The Internet has become so all-encompassing that Google is now studying these everyday impulse queries and categorizing them as “micro-moments.”
A Google study completed this year called “Consumers in the Micro-Moment” emphasizes the importance of brands being visible in the moment. Google discusses how brands need to recognize users are acting on impulses, and are therefore demanding relevance with instant gratification. There is no longer always a clear-cut pathway to purchase, instead many users are shopping on mobile devices, and seeking out the fastest way to learn, do, find or buy something. It is within these micro-moments of impulse that marketers now need to focus their energy for the future of digital marketing.
There are four main kinds of consumer micro-moments that Google has identified as valuable to brands. Each of these micro-moments is based off user patterns from data gathered by Google across their search queries. Being able to properly target these micro-moments and capitalize on users’ split-second decisions is the future of digital marketing. Here are the four micro-moments you need to optimize your advertising for:
Micro-Moment #1 – “I Want To Know”
One of the key micro-moments is based around the digital information age. People are always connected to the Internet in some capacity with a nearby device, whether it is a smartphone, laptop or tablet, making seeking out information easier than ever. In fact 66% of smartphone users will look up something they saw on a TV commercial. People are less likely to phone a friend or open up a book for the answers to their queries when they have the option to Google something and have results in seconds. The “I Want To Know” micro-moment occurs when people have these burning questions or inquiries that they then search for online.
For example someone might want to know how to make their glassware spotless in time for a dinner party and will search “best way to clean glassware” on Google. It is important as an advertiser to be able to capitalize on these quick queries and be able to provide valuable information immediately. As seen in the image above, Cascade is running advertisements attached to this query promoting that they are 4X as clean as the competitors – therefore answering the query that their product is the better way to clean glassware. Often times when it comes to micro-moments, decisions are based less on customer loyalty and more on relevancy and immediate gratification. Therefore by Cascade having and ad at the ready for these “I Want To Know” micro-moments, they are a step ahead of their competitors.
Micro-Moment #2 – “I Want To Go”
The second key micro-moment Google mentions as important to follow is the “I Want To Go” micro-moment. This micro-moment is all about being mobile and mining into location data in order for searchers to find what they need, where they need it. People, who are out perhaps on their commute, are often multitasking and looking up places to shop or places to eat. For this reason, Google has noticed a 2X increase in location based queries such as near me, nearby, and closest. For example someone might search out “local coffee shop” or “coffee shop near me” from Toronto. It is likely that this person is on the go and wants to find a coffee shop now, so is not going to sift through websites to find the best coffee, and will instead settle for the closest Toronto coffee shop or top Toronto listing. For this reason, any coffee shops with local listings and local ads are more likely to get their business.
The “I Want To Go” micro-moment is an important subsection to optimize advertisements for because Google also found that over half of all consumers who did a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day. Moreover 18% of those original queries lead to a purchase within a day. What this means is that companies need to focus on getting their ads optimized for local queries in order to capitalize on these “I Want To Go” micro-impulses. In order to promote local listings, you will want to connect your AdWords to your Google Places account in order to assure your ads are set up for locations. It is also recommended that local advertisements include the location within their headline (I.e. Buy Coffee Toronto). The combination of these two methods will help get your advertisement in front of the right audience in this micro-moment.
Micro-Moment #3 – “I Want To Do”
With the digital information age, getting expert advice is easier than ever. The “I Want To Do” micro-moment is an attempt to leverage this expert advice to a user’s advantage. Oftentimes users will search out how-to queries or videos when they are in the middle of a task. Google found that more than 100M hours of how-to video content has been watched on YouTube this past year alone, making it one of the most searched terms.
Getting users to interact with your experts over your competitors will help foster a positive relationship between users and your brand, one that will likely lead to a sale in the future. For example a home cook might search “how to slow roast ribs” and take the advice of one of the top ads related to that query. The key is to have an advertisement that highlights professional or expert experience, with keywords like “the best way” i.e. “the best way to slow roast ribs – expert cooking advice.” When done successfully, that user will be more likely to return to that cooking site once again for future queries.
Micro-Moment #4 – “I Want To Buy”
The final key micro-moment Google has highlighted is the “I Want To Buy” micro-moment. In a recent study Google discovered that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones while in-store to influence a purchase and that there has been a 29% increase in mobile conversion rates in the past year. Smartphone users make for smarter shoppers because they are able to quickly Google competing prices, customer reviews, and even local sales.
What this means is that advertisers need to focus on optimizing their ads not only for their current customer queries, but customers seeking out similar products from a competitor store. These micro-moments come from customers who are already down the sales funnel and are looking to make a purchase, and it is crucial that Google ads are helping draw in and hold those leads.